7 Tips To Help the Planet and Yourself

Burning forests, floods, strange weather patterns – the list goes on. Climate change is here and we’re the cause. Our lifestyles are depleting the planet of its natural self-healing properties. At the same time, the scale of the challenge is so large that as an individual it can paralyse us into inaction. But every little helps, here are 7 things I do that could make some small difference to the planet. They have the added benefit of saving you money, making you healthier or improving your social connections.

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22 Untranslatable Words

When I was young I would “ikstuarpok” when I was expecting friends. I often “pana po’o” when I’m working. And I hope I never “shenmei pilao”. Many times, you can’t quite find the word in English to describe something. Thankfully, other cultures and languages have such words. It makes you wonder why English doesn’t have them. Here are 22 such words:

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When do you become a grown-up?

I’ve been feeling like a child in recent weeks. My mother’s passing has caused this. It’s made me wonder about adulthood.  When exactly are we grown up? I know for sure it’s not turning eighteen – even if that’s what the law says. I cringe when I think of myself at that age pretending to be all grown up. Behind my smiling persona was the same five-year-old that craved pleasing others.

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Losing My Mother; Gaining Your Wisdom

Me as a child and how I feel now.

It’s been almost two weeks since my mother passed away, and I’ve had such an outpouring of support that I can’t thank people enough. It’s helped me understand how at times of pain, there is much love. Many of you have reached out with lovely words and I thought I’d share some of them. They contain much wisdom, which can hopefully help others too.

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My Mother Passed Away

My mother in 1968, when she was twenty

We got the call you don’t want to get last Saturday. My mother had been struggling with cancer for months. She recently had to be admitted to a care home. She had lost much of her mobility. I had been coming to my home-town Oxford every weekend to visit her ever since. The call was from the care home. They told us that mother was coming to the end of her life. They seemed to know about these things.

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If You Are Praised, Be Sceptical…

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher from around 100AD. He along with Marcus Aurelius are known for advocating Stoic philosophy. The core principles revolve around focusing on what is within your control and also on your thinking patterns. These ideas have continued with contemporary techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and self-help gurus like Byron Katie. But it’s always good to go back to the source material, here are some of the key excerpts from the works of Epictetus:

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What Michael Bloomberg Taught Me About Business

Michael Bloomberg is the billionaire founder of the financial services data and media company, Bloomberg. He was also the 108th Mayor of New York. He’s confident, outspoken and has strong views on how to start and run a business. I learnt about them in his autobiography. Here are the highlights:

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Secrets On the Exercise Of Power

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“As for preserving justice, this means keeping intact with humanity and justice, and searching out what lies within hearts, in order to mesh with them.

Searching hearts means finding out what rules them, by way of external you control the internal. If matters have complicated twists and turns, you go along with them accordingly. Continue reading “Secrets On the Exercise Of Power”

9 TV Shows I’m Loving

I’ve just finished a great run of binge-watching TV. Here are my favourites:

Money Heist (Netflix) – excellent Spanish thriller, which centres around a seemingly perfect robbery of a printing press. As the robbery proceeds we get flashbacks and glimpses of the lives of each the robbers. Gripping, I’m addicted. By the way watched it with subtitles not the dubbed English voices


The Boys (Amazon) – I couldn’t stop watching the 8-part season (surely season 2 will follow). This subverts the superhero genre by showing them as sleazy, fragile and corrupt. The plot revolves a group of regular people trying to bring the superheroes down.


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